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What Do You Eat in Antarctica? | Antarctic Extremes

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Channel: PBS Terra
Categories: Cooking   |   Fine Arts   |   Environmental   |   Science  
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If youre a penguin or other seabird in Antarctica, theres plenty of fish (and some seal placenta) to go around. But what do the people eat?

Generally, an adult human consumes around 1,600 to 3,000 calories daily. But in colder climates, people need to eat more: Keeping our warm-blooded bodies warm requires a lot of energy. Its so cold in Antarctica that the average person needs to consume 3,200 to 5,000 calories a day (watch out, Michael Phelps). And because the continent is frozen, no food grows there naturally.

So how do the hundreds of scientists and support personnel who visit Antarcticas McMurdo Station each year stay fed?

Throughout their one-month stay in Antarctica, hosts Caitlin Saks and Arlo Prez discover the secret sauce of Antarctic cooking from experts at McMurdos galley (Hint: Need to reconstitute a meal? Just add cheese! Need to keep that cheese beyond its expiration date? Thats what freezers are for) and scientists at remote research sites. They glimpse the early days of Antarctic food storage at a long-preserved hut from theTerra Nova Expedition that began in 1910.

Along the way, Caitlin and Arlo discover the glory of 24/7 pizza and freshies, the cardboard-like texture of a protein bar several years past its expiration date, and the true meaning of eat your vegetables.

Stream Polar Extremes online time learn more:


Hosted by Caitlin Saks and Arlo Prez
Editor/Digital Associate Producer: Arlo Prez
Producer: Caitlin Saks
Field Director/Cinematographer: Zachary Fink
Executive Producer: Julia Cort
Coordinating Producer: Elizabeth Benjes
Project Director: Pamela Rosenstein
Production Assistance: Matthew Buckley, Emily Pattison, Sean Cuddihy, Hanna Ali
Audio Mix: Heart Punch Studio
Director of Audience Development: Dante Graves
Senior Digital Producer: Ari Daniel
Audience Engagement Editor: Sukee Bennett
Outreach Manager: Gina Varamo
Special thanks to the United States Antarctic Program

Alasdair Turner, Elizabeth Delaquess / NSF, Matthew Siegfried, National Science Foundation, POND5, Storyblocks

Music: APM

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers. Additional funding is provided by the NOVA Science Trust.

Major funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, the George D. Smith Fund, and the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1713552. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

WGBH Educational Foundation 2020

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